Saturday, September 24, 2011

Silly Sustainability Saturday: While the world burns, Farmville thrives

Time for another tour through the lighter side of sustainability this week, with sustainability news that is funny, silly (including just plain stupid), fun, or simply positive. This week's news features Next Media Animation, Cracked, Grist, and Hysterical Raisins with supporting roles played by CNBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Data Driven Detroit, and others and continues over the jump.

The snarky animators at Next Media Animation continue to depict even the most serious sustainability issues in a humorous way. This week, they show how playing games helps the world's economy, thus allowing me to use one of my catchphrases.

The economy got you down? In this monologue, Li Anne tells you how playing Facebook can help boost [the] world economy!
There are 200,000 jobs from online games? While the world burns, Farmville thrives.

About Li Anne's remark about finding her playing Sims Social? That's not the joke one might think it is. Electronic Arts' CEO was on CNBC's "Mad Money" touting Sims Social.

While I'm on the subject of Facebook, check out Facebook: There is no such thing as a free lunch for another example of Next Media Animation making light of a serious subject involving the world's largest social network.

Next, sustainability mixed with sex, a natural for Next Media Animation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA for short, is an animal-rights organization founded in 1980.

Known for its hardline stance on animal rights, in recent years PETA realized it could attract publicity by getting members to bare all.

Many celebrities have stripped to promote vegetarianism. However, PETA has now announced the launch of porn site

PETA wants to reach a wider audience. It will tempt viewers with "tantalizing" images before delivering a message about slaughterhouses.

For men traumatized rather than educated by the website, there's always Hooters.
I blogged about the Huffington Post article about this story in Silly Sustainability Saturday for August 20, 2011. I'm glad Next Media Animation is following up. It's exactly their kind of story.

Now a story with a Michigan connection, imported from Taiwain.

In America, the modern-day breadline is known as SNAP. About 45 million receive food stamps, costing US$65 billion a year.

This has recently come to the attention of Yum! Brands. The KFC operator wants to be able to accept food stamps at its stores.

Yum! is lobbying for access to SNAP cash. It has also paid off anti-hunger advocates to speak on its behalf.

SNAP is rife with fraud. Corrupt retailers pay 50 cents then collect a dollar from Uncle Sam. The cash is then used for purposes not intended for SNAP.

In this era of belt-tightening, shouldn't Uncle Sam be looking at more efficient ways to feed the hungry?
Read carefully the sentence about fraud. It's not the government that is being corrupt; it's the retailers. They're the ones taking unfair advantage of the program. Speaking of which, NMAtv posted this video in response to another clip, which no longer exists. According to the notice at its former page:
This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content. Sorry about that.
USA Today reported that Michigan as one of three states allowing SNAP to be used for restaurant food. That policy is helping to alleviate Detroit's food desert. According to Data Driven Detroit, the number one and two restaurants accepting EBT in Detroit are Church's Chicken and KFC, with 15 and 12 locations respectively. The other fast food places are way behind.

That's getting a bit too serious in tone. Time for one more serious story covered lightly by NMAtv.

The US Postal Service traces its roots back to 1775.
Since then, the USPS has been delivering America's stuff, rain or shine.

The USPS does not charge rural residents extra, despite the fact it is considerably harder to deliver to them.

However, the rise of email has left the USPS in dire financial straits.

Obama does not want to cut jobs or benefits, but he is in favor of slashing costs by stopping Saturday deliveries.

Some think cuts could be the start of a death spiral for the USPS. What will take its place?
UPS and FedEx, that's what, even though they cost more. Also, in a fight between UPS and FedEx, the privatizers will favor FedEx. UPS is unionized, while FedEx isn't.

For one more entry that features a video from NMAtv, check out An appropriate news story for Talk Like a Pirate Day about the Pirate Party making an unexpectedly strong showing in this week's German elections.

In any post featuring this week in silly anything, one expects to see two publications pop up eventually, The Onion and Cracked. The Onion has already starred in a Silly Sustainability Saturday. It's now Cracked's turn.

The 6 Most Horrifying Lies The Food Industry is Feeding You
If there's one thing in the world the food industry is dead set against, it's allowing you to actually maintain some level of control over what you eat. See, they have this whole warehouse full of whatever they bought last week when they were drunk that they need to get rid of -- and they will do so by feeding it all to you. And it doesn't matter how many pesky "lists of ingredients" and consumer protections stand between you and them.
The list includes wood (as cellulose), zombie orange juice, ammonia (in hamburger), bogus berries, fake free range chickens, and B.S. health claims. In trademark Cracked style, it's all horrifyingly true and hysterically funny.

As usual, Grist has a selection of news about the lighter side of sustainability this week. Number one on their short list today is Save the whales, put them in the Bermuda Triangle
The proposed sanctuary, a partnership between between NOAA and the Bermuda Department of Environmental Protection, will be a way station for humpbacks heading to tropical waters for the winter.

NOAA's goal is to expand with more whale sanctuaries to ease the humpbacks' migration. These will be located at Area 51, Loch Ness, and the Oregon Vortex.
Grist also writes about an unexpected green job in Urban chicken consultant will help you realize your homesteading dreams
For a fee, Jennifer Murtoff will come to your house and help you set up your own little Chickentopia. Speaking as someone who baby-sat chickens for three months this summer, I can tell you that it's a hell of a lot easier to learn the craft from someone else than to try to figure it out on your own, so if you live in Chi-town (that’s Chicago, not Chickentown), you should totally hire her.

With Murtoff’s help, you could be on your way to eggs that are extra-delicious and guaranteed cruelty free unless you are an asshole. And while there's little evidence that eggs from your own chickens will save you money over the factory kind, Murtoff has the feeling that part of what's driving her business is the recession.
If you're in the mood for something positive, Grist has Watch cute kids build their own school out of bottles and trash, which features this heart-warming video.

3 Months of filming compressed into a 3 minute video. This is a good overview of the hard work, dedication, win-wins, and excitement surrounding Bottle Schools.
The last item is the cool but impractical bike in Metal-wheeled bike! Sure, why not?. Surf over for a view.

Finally, my friend Nonnie9999 has her say about Republican candidate Herman Cain's Economic plan in The Cain Scrutiny at Hysterical Raisins.

As I wrote in comments.
Sorry, Godfather, you didn’t make an offer the American people couldn’t refuse.

One of the worst economic plans ever deserves a poster from one of the worst movies ever.

Oh, yeah, and Bela Lugosi’s dead in the movie, too.

And that's it for the lighter side of sustainability this week.


  1. Hi there,

    I really like your blogspot. I found you via Kunstler's blog and read your latest comment about shale oil and gas.

    I have been blogging for quite a while, too!

    take care, jerry

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jerry. Your blog looks like a one-stop shop for opponents of fracking. I'll be sure to read it more later.

    I promised to post all of my standard rant on oil shale here. I'll get around to it later. Instead, I posted the reImaging Work link and info. After all, that's happening here, and this is a Detroit blog.